“a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and […] values”

This is how our president defined our country yesterday. Explicitly denying that it was a “Christian nation” and explicitly stating that this fact is one of our “great strengths”.

It’s nice to be reminded of this—and by someone so high in the administration! It is vogue for politicians to exclaim “God bless America!” Whether or not The Divine smiles upon us is not the issue, the issue is which Divinity is being invoked. Likely not mine, which makes me bristle. Change the invocation just a bit and even the Christian right will object: “Allah bless America” and “Goddess bless America” are nearly epithets.

I look forward to what the religious response to this will be—will our secular roots continue to be denied? Will this be further proof that Obama is the anti-Christ? Or will this be accepted as an endorsement of pluralism? An invitation to dialogue?

Our country is yet young and still going through growing pains. I see our insistence on religion in the public sphere as evidence of this. I think the Secular Coalition’s crowing may work against them, but this may indicate, not a turning away from religion but a turning towards acceptance of non-religion. A big step for us.

2 Comments

  1. I was very satisfied to see him clearly state that the US is a secular country. He may indeed be the anti-Christ (but then again, so is my friend because he rejects Mormonism, at least according to his mother) because he supports pluralism and secularism and *gasp* SCIENCE, as being America’s true heritage, instead of the “Christian Nation” drivel the religious right loves to play make-believe with.

    After 8 years of the gov’t pretending that Jesus was the man behind the chair in the Oval Office (instead of Cheney), it’s very nice to have the President of the US acknowledge that Jesus isn’t telling him to invade countries and take away our civil liberties.

  2. I was really impressed by this speech. I have been making the argument that the U.S. is not a Christian nation for at least 10 years if not more. I wrote my Senior Thesis on this topic. For shits and giggles i am halfway tempted to take it and add to it with research that I have done since then. It is nice to see that the current administration is moving back in the direction that our founding fathers had intended.

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